Even the backyard frog is silent. The dog snores quietly from the hallway outside my office. Jimmy Fallon is on the television and I’m tired and about ready to climb the stairs and go to bed.
A year ago, my oldest kids would have still been awake way past midnight. But now they are working men and as such, they get tired and go to bed at a decent hour. It’s a small miracle, one of the changes brought about by employment. I have to say that I am so happy to again be the last person awake in my household. That job has done what my nagging and suggesting never could.
Tomorrow is the last day my daughter will be doing schoolwork at home. Her official last day of school is Thursday.
Tonight, I was relaxing in my room, watching television before my work shift began and she wandered in and stretched out next to me. When questioned, she said she was bored.
This might be a bad sign to have a bored 11-year old when school has not even let out for the summer. I told her that the good news is that as soon as she’s done with school she can clean up her room and then I’m going to gather some books for a summer reading list.
Many of these books were purged in the Great California Migration of 2011.
My girl does not really like to read. I find this unfathomable. I keep suggesting books and raving about books and handing her books but she is unconvinced. I do not recognize this part of her.
So, this week winds down and when it ends I will no longer have a child in elementary school. We leave behind another stage of life and perhaps because the stages have stretched out and overlapped for so long, I feel no regret or pangs. I’ve had one kid or another in elementary school for sixteen long years.
In other news, the wildfires have been contained. School was canceled for two days while firefighters battled the blazes and thousands of people were evacuated. I spent my weekend at lacrosse games. On Saturday, we drove an hour or so to my son’s last game where I sat on broiling hot metal bleachers watching my son stand on the sidelines for the whole game. (They lost the game.)
On Sunday, my daughter had a tournament, so we drove thirty minutes the other direction–past the wildfire area where we saw a little smoke still wafting from a hillside–and she played five shortened games. After a season in which they lost every single game, they won their fourth game–the last game scheduled. We were so happy until we were informed that the girls would “get” to play one last game. They lost that game, thus illustrating perfectly the word “anticlimactic.”
So this week, the temperatures are literally forty degrees lower than last week. The whole world is no longer on fire. My kids have no more sports practices. The upcoming weekend has no scheduled activities or plans or anything. I feel like someone found the keys to the handcuffs and we are free, free, free! Now run before they catch us and throw us back into jail!